HEADS UP: It's early September and that means one important thing in the ragtrade: fashion trade shows. To that end, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week New York Spring 2015. As we at VEVLYN'S PEN endeavor to bring some interesting fashion news to our dear readers, we don't mind changing with the seasons. One small tweak this season, each day one (perhaps two) designers/labels will be singled out for particular notice. That will be the main story (in more than 50 words). Elsewhere, our commentary will remain unchanged. We will continue to put emphasis on the truly inspirational on the runway and will only do a “best of” when it suits in 50 words or less. On some days we will provide a “snapshot” and so on. Finally, we will continue to do the off-runway bizarre, unusual and generally noteworthy. Thank you for your support!
(SOME of the players at the tents and elsewhere): A DÉTACHER, BILLY REID, CADET, CARMEN MARC, VALVO, CHADWICK BELL, CHARLOTTE RONSON, CUSHNIE ET OCHS, GREGORY PARKINSON, HELMUT LANG KATE SPADE NEW YORK, KATIE GALLAGHER, KELLY WEARSTLER, JASON WU, JENNI KAYNE, LYN DEVON, NICOLE MILLER, PIERRE BALMAIN, RAG & BONE, REBECCA MINKOFF, SALLY LAPOINTE, ST. JOHN, SAUNDER, SUNO, TESS GIBERSON, THE ELDER STATESMAN, TOCCA, TOMMY HILFIGER, TRIBUNE STANDARD, YIGAL AZROUËL
“I feel really invigorated, ” Carmen Marc Valvo tells Yours Truly a couple of days ago when I inquire after his general well-being, two days before his Spring-Summer 2015 show at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week New York, his 25th anniversary show.
For Spring-Summer 2015, he has silver on the brain for obvious reasons. Another source of inspiration is his garden, for him a beautiful place that has provided inspiration, solace and healing.
During our chat a couple of days ago after the “Salute the Runway” (http://www.bit.ly/1upn8q8), which featured one of his designs, he mentioned that SS 2015 would be heavy on silver. But he also invoked words such as“Americana,” “polished” and “sleek.” (See video below).
He did not over sell it. Silver fairly shimmers and is at its zenith in the form of the silver leather and double face silk organza gown.
The sleekness is most evident in well-placed flesh-toned mesh that gives the illusion of bare skin. A case in point is the black silk gazaar cocktail dress. Like several other pieces, it has cutouts about the upperbody, mainly around the shoulder area and under the arms, along the obliques. Here is a way to show skin without being vulgar.
As for polish, the whole collection is polished, even the inexplicable booties, which are best described as demure swimsuits. Surprisingly, though, polish is most apparent in the few men's pieces. Yes, menswear is part of CMV SS 2015. No doubt part of the expansion that he alluded to in our little tête-à-tête .
The first men's piece out of the gate is a black organza tuxedo shirt (tucked into black jeans). Organza is an arresting sight on a man; it is also done in white. The black embroidered tuxedo is sublime.
CMV does not have the look of a man who is plagued by worries. On the contrary, he appears carefree, with a very good reason.
“There are a lot of great things happening with the company, with Carmen Marc Valvo,” he says. “It's [25-year anniversary] a milestone … we have new offices … new energy.”
And it shows.
SNAPSHOT: NICOLE MILLER
Nicole Miller is inspired by a Brazilian vacation for Spring-Summer 2015. Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images.
HOW to explain it? For Spring-Summer 2015 Nicole Miller must be feeling a little melancholy because Brazil was humiliated in the 2014 Fifa World Cup. How else to explain this lethargic collection, inspired by the idea of a Brazilian vacation.
The country is in mourning after spending billions on the games and to be dismissed without a cup victory. And then there is the matter of much of its citizenry lacking a pot to piss in. This is the atmosphere that NM is entering with her print motif. Depressing business all around.
The colors are bright, as one would expect. Alas they lack energy and vitality, particularly the orchid jungle series. In a collection that leans heavily on blindingly bright colors, the one that makes the best impression is white. The white viscose crepe godet dress with puckering on the front is a little showstopper.
Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images.
Similarly, the metal dress with ruffle in tomato, a color that looks like pale watermelon, is ready for carnival! The color alone has the power to lift the mood of a nation.
Another bright spot, which is more reminiscent of NM of seasons past is the exuberant pineapple jacquard series. The print is aligned along the arms and legs against a solid background. It suggests that the depression is lifting, that this has been a good day.
Despite the blues at NM for SS 2015, the designer must be commended for her shoe selection. The bright-colored, open-toe strappy sandals have a chunky heel that is, max, four inches.
If nothing else, the Nicole Miller girl will have happy feet.
THE hottest party last night had to be the CFDA Barbie party. That is not to mean hip and happening, though it was a little of both. It was held outside at the plaza in a tent set up at the intersection of 14th Street and 9th Avenue.
If Rebecca Taylor can design an out for Barbie, so can Yours Truly. Photo by Yours Truly.
It was probably about 80 degrees outside the tent and 90 degrees inside. There was a crush, and the fans at either end of the tents were blowing hot air. Necks were craning, elbows were rubbing and mobile phones were snapping or trying to snap one of the live and lifesize Barbies standing behind glass panels.
The models were got up in dresses designed by Charlotte Ronson, Cynthia Vincent, Rebecca Taylor, Tess Giberson and WHIT. Alas, they are not for sale.
Over in a corner away from the crowd was a bank of iPads on which anybody who wanted to could create an outfit for their own personal Barbie,
In any case, Yours Truly created an outfit for my Barbie. Disclaimer: That pink necklace is part of the Barbie promotion and could not be removed. Still, you get the gist of the outfit. Whaddaya think?
WELCOME TO GOTHAM, BORIS BIDJAN SABERI
I can't take my eyes off of this guy. I've made my way to the flagship store opening of the Boris Bidjan Saberi on Greenwich street.
That's saying something, considering the room is full of stylish downtowners, the kind of people who look super cool and who don't venture above 14th Street unless they have a very good reason. Business strategist Jey Van-Sharp – that is his name – is wearing a white shirt and dark jeans.
Jey Van-Sharp in some lost and found garb. Photo by Yours Truly.
The abbreviated-button down, wrap shirt is long and asymetrical On his feet are black sneakers with a pristine-white band on the toe area. The white of the shirt and the white on the tip of the sneaker play off of each other. (Both are from Lost and Found Ria Dunn, http://www.lostandfounddesign.net/)
How to describe this getup? J-S is rocking it.
On Deck today, Day 3: ACADEMY OF ART UNIVERSITY, ADAM LIPPES, ALEXANDER WANG, ALON LIVNÉ, ALTUZARRA, BAJA EAST, BILLY REID, CHRISTIAN SIRIANO, DESIGNERS’ REVIEW, EDIE PARKER, EVA FEHREN, JILL STUART, KATYA LEONOVICH, KOONHOR, LACOSTE, LIE SANGBONG, LUIS ANTONIO, MALAN BRETON, MAX AZRIA, PRABAL GURUNG, PRISM BY ANNA LAUB, RALPH RUCCI, ROBERT GELLER, SON JUNG WAN, VENEXIANA
Visit http://www.mbfashionweek.com/new-york to learn more about Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, including show information and videos.